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Classe CT-2300 Two-Channel Amplifier Conclusion

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2300-frontMy time with the Classe CT-2300 two-channel amplifier has been a pure delight. Its pristine sonic virtues, ability to drive even the most challenging of speaker loads beyond reference levels, and its stellar bench tests results all equate to a trifecta amplifier few at any price could surpass. The fact that it runs cool even when driven hard makes it an installers delight that they can rackmount a few of these virtually right on top of each other without worrying about heat dissipation issues.

About the only thing I can diss the CT-2300 on is its rather generic rubber feet. OK I’ll admit, I have a foot fetish and expect my audio components to have nice feet, especially at this price. However, Classe does offer an optional foot upgrade for those not as concerned with taking up a bit more valuable vertical rack space or wanting to place this amplifier as a stand alone piece on a shelf or the floor. With the CT-2300 powering your speakers, you will soon forget about the ho-hum rubber feet while entering a sonic landscape not achievable with lesser designed amplifiers. The only thing I urge potential buyers on before considering the Classe CT-2300 for your next amplifier purchase is to make sure your speakers are up to the task. Your system is only as good as the weakest link and I can assure you the CT-2300 will not be the kink in the chain. After two months of dining on the CT-2300, I can say with total confidence that my appetite is fully satisfied. Highly recommended!

Classe Electronics
5070 François Cusson
Lachine, Québec
H8T 1B3, Canada
Phone: 1-514-636-6384
FAX: 1-514- 636-1428

CT-2300 Review
MSRP: $6,500

The Score Card

The scoring below is based on each piece of equipment doing the duty it is designed for. The numbers are weighed heavily with respect to the individual cost of each unit, thus giving a rating roughly equal to:

Performance × Price Factor/Value = Rating

Audioholics.com note: The ratings indicated below are based on subjective listening and objective testing of the product in question. The rating scale is based on performance/value ratio. If you notice better performing products in future reviews that have lower numbers in certain areas, be aware that the value factor is most likely the culprit. Other Audioholics reviewers may rate products solely based on performance, and each reviewer has his/her own system for ratings.

Audioholics Rating Scale

  • StarStarStarStarStar — Excellent
  • StarStarStarStar — Very Good
  • StarStarStar — Good
  • StarStar — Fair
  • Star — Poor
MetricRating
Frequency Response LinearityStarStarStarStarStar
SNRStarStarStarStarStar
Measured Power (8-ohms)StarStarStarStarStar
Measured Power (4-ohms)StarStarStarStarStar
Multi-channel Audio PerformanceStarStarStarStarStar
Two-channel Audio PerformanceStarStarStarStarStar
Build QualityStarStarStarStarStar
Ergonomics & UsabilityStarStarStarStarStar
FeaturesStarStarStarStar
PerformanceStarStarStarStarStar
ValueStarStarStarhalf-star
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Gene manages this organization, establishes relations with manufacturers and keeps Audioholics a well oiled machine. His goal is to educate about home theater and develop more standards in the industry to eliminate consumer confusion clouded by industry snake oil.

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Recent Forum Posts:

AcuDefTechGuy posts on March 13, 2014 10:27
RichB, post: 1022651
any votes for an ATI Signature Series.

- Rich

I assumed that ATI was the better value, but perhaps I may be wrong. Parasound Halo might be the better value. I will have to look into that.

I mean if you could get the Parasound Halo A21 250WPC amp brand new for a few hundred dollars less than the ATI AT2002 200WPC amp, I don't know if I can recommend the ATI.
RichB posts on March 12, 2014 21:09
PENG, post: 1022880
I feel the same way in that regard. For me, when I say amps sound the same I always meant mid range to high end class A, A/AB and AB amps in perfect condition and operating within their specified limits with adequate headrooms. I would not expect an Outlaw monblock m2200 or an Emo upa-200 sound the same as any classe monoblocks. They may, but I just would not expect them to and would not believe it, not until I have heard them side by side in a blind test.

I am on the same page. I never don't worry about was about small levels of distortion.

I suspect some amps produce less harmonics played at low levels and that may matter if you have a system/room capable of resolving them.

Some amps may handle complex loud better than others.
Dynamic content can have greater demands than you can account for.
It is not easy to determine how much power is needed for a given system and I suspect we are pretty tolerant to clipping.

Well made A/B amps are more alike the different.
There are certainly better places to put money than some of these rarified amps.

- Rich
PENG posts on March 12, 2014 21:03
RichB, post: 1022876
I know why.

I guess I will never experience that final bit of control, heft, and air.

I think sometimes it is unclear that if we are discussing $400 receivers versus ATI 3000's or
Pass Labs and Parasound.

- Rich

Of course, I totally forgot the heft and air lol!!
PENG posts on March 12, 2014 21:02
RichB, post: 1022876
I know why.

I guess I will never experience that final bit of control, heft, and air.

I think sometimes it is unclear that if we are discussing $400 receivers versus ATI 3000's or
Pass Labs and Parasound.

- Rich

I feel the same way in that regard. For me, when I say amps sound the same I always meant mid range to high end class A, A/AB and AB amps in perfect condition and operating within their specified limits with adequate headrooms. I would not expect an Outlaw monblock m2200 or an Emo upa-200 sound the same as any classe monoblocks. They may, but I just would not expect them to and would not believe it, not until I have heard them side by side in a blind test.
RichB posts on March 12, 2014 20:53
PENG, post: 1022875
They all distort but differently in many forms. My point is, when blindfold most people couldn't tell those distortions (0.05, 0.001, or 0.0001% of any distortions) apart.

How many times have you read a professional review that claims a $2000 amp such as the A21 that sounds as good or better than a $100,000 Boulder, Goldmund, or even the lower high end in the $10,000 range from McIntosh, Krell, Conrad Johnson, Pass Lab etc.? I have never come across one. Invariable they would praise the entry level high end A21 or Bryston SST2 to the nth degree and then would add something like, that is not to say it is as good as the $10,000………….., for example the $10,000 xyz amp just give you that extra bit of warmth, and that final touch of details in the highs, blablabla etc etc… Ever wonder why?

Yep I'm having fun too, fun is good.

I know why.

I guess I will never experience that final bit of control, heft, and air.

I think sometimes it is unclear that if we are discussing $400 receivers versus ATI 3000's or
Pass Labs and Parasound.

- Rich
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